Budget suggestions

To assist in reducing the $354,000 General Fund (GF) operating deficit in the City’s proposed FY 24-25 budget, I would recommend that Council take advantage of the opportunity to make larger transfers from various Special Revenue Funds into the GF to offset various expenditures.

Larger transfers were routine in the not too distant past, and money is available to do so again now.

For example, the proposed budget includes a transfer of $30,000 from the State Gas Tax Fund into the GF to cover administrative costs for street maintenance. However, a review of budgets from the previous decade reveals that transfers from the Gas Tax Fund were routinely several $100,000 up to a maximum of $550,000 in FY 2017-18.

Presently, there is not enough money in the Gas Tax Fund to do a transfer that large. However, after paying for budgeted road projects, the proposed Gas Tax transfer could be increased by $55,000 to a total of $85,000.

The proposed budget makes no transfers out of the Orange County Transportation Authority M2 Fund into the GF. However, once again, budgets from the past decade show several that could done.

In FY 2017-18, there was a M2 Fund transfer of $233,700 into the GF to help pay for the Senior Bus & Dial-a-Ride program and street maintenance overhead. Additionally, in the same year, there was a transfer of $54,700 into the Street Lighting District which reduced the GF subsidy for the District.

Presently, there is enough money in the M2 Fund after paying for budgeted road projects to transfer at least $120,000 into the GF and/or the Street Lighting Fund.

Besides the Gas Tax and M2 Funds, there is also the relatively new State SB 1 (highway) Fund. I am not aware of transfers from this Fund for overhead in past budgets, but perhaps these are permissible. Presently, it is projected that this Fund will have a balance of $1,155,702 after paying for budgeted road projects.

Another Special Revenue Fund that has been used in the past to offset GF expenditures is the Parking-in-Lieu Fund. This money slowly comes in annually from merchants on Main Street who have inadequate parking.

In FY 19-20 $40,000 from the Parking-in-Lieu Fund was transferred into the Senior Bus & Dial-a-Ride program to partially offset the GF costs of this program.

Presently, there is $49,000 in unappropriated money in the Parking-in-Lieu Fund. Thus, it would be possible to again make a $40,000 transfer into the Senior Bus & Dial-a-Ride program to offset part of the annual $216,000 cost of this program.

The City also receives $30,000 a year from the Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

In years past, all of the AQMD revenue had been used to partially pay for the Senior Bus & Dial-a-Ride program. However, the proposed budget shows no appropriation of AQMD funds for any purpose. Resuming this appropriation could potentially replace the GF money that would otherwise have to be spent on the Senior Bus & Dial-a-Ride program.

In summary, there is a historical precedent and money available to transfer or appropriate at least an additional $245,000 from various Special Revenue Funds to reduce the GF operating deficit for FY 24-25.

Furthermore, most of these relatively small transfers could be repeated annually if needed as they were in the past.

A gas tax transfer of $85,000 represents only 12% of the current annual State funding. Similarly, an M2 Fund transfer of $120,000 represents only 19% of the current annual OCTA funding. With the addition of $670,000 annually in State SB1 funds, there should still be plenty of money to keep our roads in good shape.

A transfer from the Parking-in-Lieu Fund would have to be a one-time deal given its limited income.

However, a 100% annual appropriation of the $30,000 in AQMD income was doable in the past, and should be doable .

Thank you for your consideration and service,

Robert Goldberg, MD

SBTV-3 needs money

Ladies and Gentlemen [of the City Council]:

I have been an SBTV-3 producer since 1990 and I am also currently an active member of Seal Beach Lions. I have known numerous people within the Seal Beach community during this time including local business owners, fellow producers, and individuals who support and believe in the value of local public access television.

Peter Anninos, Zaida Davis, Matt Hoban, Jim Quinlan, Board Members of the Seal Beach Cable Foundation, and other members of the Lions Club are aware that we have met several consecutive weekends at the SBTV-3 facility, to organize equipment, within the Studio, Control Room, Green Room, Edit Bays, offices, and to sort through voluminous documents, and libraries of video tape and CD recordings.

Our hours of effort have been a commitment that we hope will restore energy and life back into local programming and will preserve the legacy that Robin Fort-Linke and her 30 years of dedication left behind. We anticipate offering production classes and an open house as part of our plan.

For this reason, I am here today at this City Budget meeting to reinforce the need to add and include a reasonable sum of money to be designated to pay the SBTV-3 Studio Manager’s salary. This request is intended to fulfill the need to restore leadership at SBTV-3 which has been absent for more than 13 months and should no longer be in the category of “status quo.” Instead, we deem this need for paid leadership as an important budget item for consideration by the City of Seal Beach and request that our request be fulfilled forthwith and within the budget now in discussion.

Terri Quinlan

RCSD: You failed your community

Two years ago this month, I walked the perimeter of Rossmoor Park to survey the homes about a little-known plan to insert pickleball on one of the tennis courts.   My survey showed that 85% of homeowners wanted an environmental impact study before a noisy new sport called Pickleball was to be implemented. That survey was given to general manager Mendoza in a face-to-face meeting almost 2 years ago to the day.

Since then, Pickleball was implemented WITHOUT SOUND MITIGATION by a vote of three members of this board, Barke, Demarco and Maynard.  These three ignored the input of then Directors Mark Nitikman and Jeff Ripps who pledged that  “If we do it [pickleball] we must do it right.” They also ignored the input of two of our current board members, Jo Shade and Nathan Searles, who have tried to advance this pledge but are in the minority.  Most egregiously, this threesome has ignored its own community’s input.

In the two years since my walk around the park, a sham trial was put in place that involved 3 courts – not 4 that they installed- that measured not one piece of objective data, such as, peak hours played, resident versus nonresident usage, walk-ons versus paid, noise levels at varying times of the day, parking/congestion issues.  They made a mockery of two hired and paid acoustic consultants who advised noise mitigation recommendations that were completely ignored.

Most recently the 3 board members, Maynard, Demarco and Barke,  ignored two signed petitions from the community, who had the gall to ask for effective sound mitigation, one with over 50 signatures and one with 13 from those who live on Baskerville.

There is apparently nothing that will get any attention, let alone empathy, from this threesome.  In fact, their general manager Mendoza answered the petitions in writing with: “ … the addition of mitigation blankets and gate panels has not been planned or scheduled.”

Why this arrogant posture to deny noise mitigation for this noisy sport of pickleball?

We see this threesome wasting our tax dollars with reckless spending.  $65k to:

1. Pay for unnecessary premature court resurfacing of all four tennis courts and basketball courts (instead of simply painting lines for the one court converting to pickleball).  Resurfacing was just done in 2019 and courts are still in good condition.

2. Spending money on permanent pickleball posts and nets— when using portable posts and nets they already purchased is working just fine, which is what many parks do.

In a recent board meeting, Director Maynard thought an RCSD LOGO in the middle of the basketball court would be a great idea for RCSD branding.  Seriously? It was taken seriously enough to get an estimate on its cost.  How did a $15,000 logo ever find its way into this trio’s dialogue – when noise mitigation has been summarily dismissed?

It’s obvious our voices mean nothing to those three.  So our energies will be best spent to continue to make transparent their tone deafness.    There is an upcoming election this November, when directors Barke and DeMarco’s terms come to an end. Our energies must be used to hold them accountable and make sure they are not reelected to sit on this RCSD board again.

Susan Kaplan

Rossmoor resident